Regulation of ON bipolar cell activity

Josefin Snellman, Tejinder Kaur, Yin Shen, Scott Nawy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Synaptic transmission from photoreceptors to all types of ON bipolar cells is primarily mediated by the mGluR6 receptor. This receptor, which is apparently expressed uniquely in the nervous system by ON bipolar cells, couples negatively to a nonselective cation channel. This arrangement results in a sign reversal at photoreceptor/ON bipolar cell synapse, which is necessary in order to establish parallel ON and OFF pathways in the retina. The synapse is an important target for second messenger molecules that are known to modulate synaptic transmission elsewhere in the nervous system, second messengers that act on a time scale ranging from milliseconds to minutes. This review focuses on two of these molecules, Ca2+ and cGMP, summarizing our current knowledge of how they modulate gain at the photoreceptor/ON bipolar cell synapse, as well as their proposed sites of action within the mGluR6 cascade. The implications of plasticity at this synapse for retinal function will also be examined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)450-463
Number of pages14
JournalProgress in Retinal and Eye Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Ca
  • Cation channel
  • Synaptic plasticity
  • cGMP
  • mGluR6

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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